COVID-19 Business Events Response & Recovery Framework

The Business Events industry has been one of the quiet achievers of the Australian economy – growing at around 6% annually since 2014, directly generating over $35 billion in economic
activity in FY19
and employing over 229,000 people across a broad range of sectors and trades.[1] In FY2019, 43.7 million people attended more than 484,382 business events across Australia.[2]

Australia’s BE industry has rapidly shutdown with the escalation of government responses to COVID-19. The impact of the pandemic is being felt across the Australian economy with 96% of events scheduled for 2020 in Australia either cancelled or postponed.[3] The Australian BE industry is facing 100% loss of revenue with the total business lost over the next 12 months estimated at over $35.7 billion.[4]

Due to the escalating effects of COVID-19, on top of bushfires earlier this year, BECA is urgently leading a coordinated approach engaging the Government – primarily through Austrade and Tourism Australia – and industry stakeholders to ensure support targets those areas most critical to the industry’s immediate needs, its sustainment and its successful recovery.

The COVID-19 Business Events Response and Recovery Framework aims to sustain the business events industry over the next 12 months and position it to rebound and grow effectively following the pandemic.

The framework will identify key challenges and solutions that can guide the development of a targeted BE industry support package. The framework is being developed in line with the Government’s own principles for stimulus and industry support measures and has been divided into two phases.

1. Response:

  • Identifies the viability of industry businesses and organisations at immediate risk with no cash-flow or forward pipelines of business events
  • Aims to enable the industry to be sustained during the pandemic and to build domestic demand, industry capability and strategy for the future market
  • Success is focused on reduced costs on the industry businesses, targeted support to organisations and employees to support viability, training and skills, domestic event pipeline development and Australian governments, businesses and associations incentivised to plan and book events.

 2. Recovery (rebound and growth):

  • Focuses on research, marketing, promotion and facilitation, with key components including:
    • Australian Government Bid Fund Program renewal and extension
    • International research, marketing and promotion
    • Creation of new Trade and Investment Priority Business Events that tap into Australia’s competitive advantages in key growth industries and regional areas
    • Visa simplification
    • Export Market Development Grant extension and refinement of criteria
    • Improved Business Events metrics that enhance the national and international visitor surveys for business events and complement by investing in robust aggregated and segmented data capability

Each phase contributes to our industry’s overarching response and recovery goal to support the wellbeing of our workforce and businesses through the crisis, and to emerge together, ready to take on the new world of business events.

Once published the framework will be available here.


About the Reports 

Lost Business Report: Impacts of COVID-19 on the Business Events Industry was produced in April 2020 by McCrindle and commissioned by BECA. The report is the collation of quantitative data gathered by BECA through an online survey and a spreadsheet that was completed by businesses working in the business events industry, conducted between 19 and 24 March 2020. The report also includes analysis of and further modelling based on data from Ernst & Young reports The Value of Business Events to Australia, February 2015, as well as the 2016 and 2019 High Level Updates.

Value of Business Events to Australia FY 2019 High-level Update, was produced by Ernst & Young (EY), 30 March 2020 and commissioned by BECA. This is a high-level update on the 2015 EY BECA Report, to estimate the value of business events to the Australian economy. The original report (2015 EY BECA Report) highlighted the importance of the business events industry to Australia, by estimating the economic contribution, value add and employment of the industry.

[1]Value of Business Events to Australia 2018/19, Ernst & Young, March 2020

[2]Value of Business Events to Australia 2018/19, Ernst & Young, March 2020

[3]Lost Business Report: Impacts of COVID-19 on the Business Events Industry, McCrindle, April 2020

[4]Lost Business Report: Impacts of COVID-19 on the Business Events Industry, McCrindle, April 2020